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Allegheny Power confident about Y2K

November 26, 1999

As confidently as they can, Allegheny Power officials say the lights will remain on when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1.

Officials at the utility have been working feverishly all year to correct problems associated with the Year 2000 computer problem, which could cause computers to malfunction if they interpret 2000 as 1900.

"Y2K readiness has been a top priority for Allegheny for several years, and we are nearing the culmination of our efforts," Vice President and Y2K project manager Ken Jones said in a statement.

The company has spent $20 million on the problem. About 500 employees on 23 teams have devoted 80,000 employee hours on the effort, company officials said.

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Company officials said all systems that affect customers - from electricity generation to billing - have been certified since June.

Allen Staggers, a company spokesman, said any Y2K equipment problems will have no effect on customers. For instance, a scale that weighs coal may print an incorrect date, but otherwise will function normally, he said.

And just in case, the utility has scheduled dozens of extra workers on New Year's Eve.

Despite its assurances, Allegheny Power officials warned service interruptions can occur at any time for a variety of reasons, including storms and car accidents.

The number to call for power disruptions is 1-800-255-3443.

Allegheny Power, Allegheny Energy company, provides power to parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia.

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